HONOLULU — Hawaiian Airlines is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, operating under the same certificate for the entire nine decades.  

The carrier has achieved some remarkable milestones since its founding: introducing airmail and cargo service to the islands in 1934 and becoming America’s first certified air cargo carrier in 1942.

It was also the first airline in Hawaii to fly pressurized aircraft (1952), the first carrier operating jet aircraft on inter-island routes (1966), the first airline in the US with an all-female operating crew (1979), and the first Hawaii-based airline to offer scheduled service to the US mainland (1985). In its long history, the airline has never had a fatal accident.

Ninety years after its founding, the airline has grown to be Hawaii’s largest and longest-serving airline, flying over 10 million guests every year across its inter-island, Asian, and North American network.

Today, the airline has launched the longest domestic flight within the United States from Honolulu (HNL) to Boston (BOS). The new route is the first non-stop service between Hawaii and Boston.

And as the airline enters the last ten years of its first centennial, it bids farewell to its old Boeing 767-300(ER)s, and welcomes brand-new Airbus A321neo into its fleet, expecting the arrival of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which will forever change the way the airline operates its long-haul flights.

The Hawaiian Airlines Archives

Overall, plenty of history can happen in 90 years, and Hawaiian Airlines sure takes pride in all of it.

Located deep inside the corporate headquarters of Hawaiian Airlines, sits a man by the name of Richard Rogers—a former pilot who now works as the curator of the Hawaiian Airlines archives.

Rogers goes through and keeps track of all that is and has been Hawaiian Airlines. Everything from airline posters to airplane models sits in this room.

One particular item, a piece of Wrigley’s gum and a cotton swab—which you wouldn’t think has major significance—can be found in this room.

The two pieces sit under glass in a case along with a ticket for Inter-Island Airways. The gum and cotton, according to Rogers, represents the first “Amenity Kit” for Hawaiian Airlines. It is his favorite part of the collection.


Rodgers does not go out and seek additions to the collection, as items usually come in a few times a year from donations by airline enthusiast and other collectors.


One frequent contributor has a unique arrangement as he is able to trade memorabilia items for Hawaiian Airlines miles—a win-win situation for both parties.

If you ever have the opportunity stop on by the Hawaiian Airlines archives, make sure you visit Rogers. You will be amazed at the incredible amount of Hawaiian Airlines goodies he has to show.